Two of the industry’s biggest companies are set to square off in court as Electronic Arts has filed a lawsuit alleging that Zynga’s Facebook title The Ville has “copied and misappropriated” elements of EA-published Facebook game The Sims Social. Since its initial reveal, The Ville has been summed up by many as Zynga’s version of The Sims; whether that is an oversimplification will be a matter for the courts to decide. For now, we get to ponder the implications of two of the most maligned companies in the industry — Zynga is often derided for copying others’ games and failing to innovate, among other things, while EA’s business tactics landed it the unofficial distinction of being America’s worst company earlier this year — facing off against each other.
To say Zynga has been having some issues as of late would be an understatement. Its stock has been in decline for most of the year and was subjected to another nosedive just over a week ago; this came on the heels of a poor quarter that resulted in COO John Schappert being replaced as head of game development. And with the company doing so poorly on the stock market, it is now facing a class action lawsuit which alleges executives knew of an impending crash that prompted them to sell in excess of $500 million in stock earlier this year.
That all leads us today, when EA filed its complaint (via Kotaku) with a United States District Court in California. Accompanying this was a message from Lucy Bradshaw, general manager of The Sims developer Maxis. Noting that The Sims Social was released on Facebook in August 2011 and The Ville in June 2012, she claims “the infringement of The Sims